From last week (CJ, I basically copied and paste from your text cuz it's much better than anything I can writer) " [t]here is a really interesting discussion/brewhaha on Urban Fantasy and paranormal romance touched off by this article by Lilith Saintcrow on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist and continued elsewhere, such as Book Smugglers and Babbling about Books."
This is going to be mostly rambling so feel free to skip. It's also filled with generalization and randomness:
Okay, what is it about literary people that enjoys splitting hairs, creating hierarchies, and trying to create these categorial boundaries? These ideas of more legit or acceptable types of books. Rules and edicts.
Why should anyone be ashamed or feel less qualified by writing or reading a certain genre? I just find it incredibly disheartening that it occurs even more harshly among specific groups.
Social pressure to fit into this ideology of some sexualized sexless martyr that's aggressive yet passive. Get a grip. Being the exact opposite is only painting oneself into a corner.
Dude, I read. Do you? I read romance. I read newspaper/articles. I literary and scientific journals (the latter for work). Philosophy. History. Social commentaries. Theories. And yes, let me repeat. I read Romance.
Maybe I'm missing the whole point. I have no problems with UF. Heck, you're looking at a long time comic book, sci fi/fantasy reader who used to dress up to convention (no, there are no photo proof ;p). What I do have a problem with is the fact people downplay the importance of something (or some one) in order to elevate another.
Lilith Saintcrow's post itself was merely a personal view about a very specific aspect. She is entitled to her opinion and so are those commentors.
My opinion is that there will be more and more genres as well as subgenres as more writers develop their craft. If you cannot be united in the fact we all love reading and writing, then we will always be divided and looked down upon. Romance readers/writers are often seen as a lesser group, a minority if you will. While we're stepping on each other to elevate a little of one subgenre above another, it's only a detriment to us all as we're all seen as readers of 'those books.' No one wins. No one is seen as more legit. Just bickering and division.
Romance isn't trash. Trash is just something and individual doesn't know what to do with. Recycle your trash. Read a romance. Read one of each subgenre. :D